Sunday 25 September 2016

Teen tricked into posting net images kills himself

Adrian Rutherford

Published 09/06/2015 | 02:30

GAA player (17) takes his life 'after being tricked into posting images online'
GAA player (17) takes his life 'after being tricked into posting images online'

A schoolboy has taken his own life after being tricked into posting images on the internet.

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The 17-year-old died last Friday and his death is now under investigation. He was a keen GAA player from the Coalisland area of Co Tyrone

Parish priest Fr Benny Fee said the rural community had been left stunned and blamed "faceless individuals" for intimidating the teenager.

"He did not take his own life. His life was taken by these faceless people who put the child into a burning building that he felt he could not escape."

It is understood the boy had told his parents about the cyber-bullying and made a complaint to police.

Fr Fee added: "It is a total and absolute tragedy but it is a different kind of tragedy because there is an element of cyber-crime involved.

"It would frighten any of us how children can be the victim of these faceless individuals. These people had something that they were using as a lever to frighten the child.

"But he had told his parents and they went to the police. It is just so tragic that these faceless people have robbed a family and community of a much loved child."

Police described the case as "tragic", with Superintendent Mike Baird confirming: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 17-year-old schoolboy in the Coole Road area of Coalisland on Friday, June 5.

"Our enquiries into this tragedy are continuing. However, it is understood the schoolboy took his own life after he had been tricked into posting images on a social networking site."

Officers have spoken to pupils at a school in the area and offered advice regarding safe internet use and any type of virtual interaction, including through social media sites, chatrooms, and interactive games.

"If anyone has experienced anything of a similar nature or has received any inappropriate images or links, it is important that they contact police or tell a trusted adult," they said.

The tragic teenager's GAA club issued a statement on Facebook in which they described him as a "youth player" who played as goalkeeper "throughout his short youth career".

"He was a quiet and modest young lad who was popular among all players and coaches. His death has left a dark shadow hanging over our club," they said.

The Samaritans provides a support service for people feeling troubled. Contact them on www.samaritans.org or on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Irish Independent

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